Often life here has become our normality, having made a quick trip back to the UK many, many things there felt very uncomfortable because they weren’t our norm anymore (did I ever tell you about my total meltdown in Asda?!)
Today though was a day I hit the reality of living here in ups and downs…. grab a cup of tea and a chocolate digestive (oooh that would be nice!)
Yesterday I spent three hours putting together the presentation for this morning’s Gazoo Bible programme for kids. It involved creating a great animated story (translated) as the main point of the story and an interactive computer game for the final fun activity. So this morning at 7.50am we set off for home school (not at home!) and had quite a good morning. At 9.30 I went next door to run the Gazoo session. We had three new boys, which was great news. I registered them asking their names and date of birth. It took at least five attempts for the first boy to understand my simple question… what is your name, when is your birthday? The second boy I asked (now already knowing what I was going to ask) should have been easier and I got his name no problem. But when I asked his birthday he said he didn’t have one. I asked again, knowing some people here don’t celebrate birthdays but presuming he just hadn’t understood. No, he responded again he just has New Year (the Albanian equivalent of Christmas), no birthday. I checked, do you mean your birthday is at New Year? No, his friends said, he doesn’t have a birthday. One of them then prompted him that maybe he had been born in February. Yes, the boy seemed to think that was a possibility, so we wrote February as a month, any idea as to the date? No, no, no. He just didn’t have any idea when he had been born, no one had ever celebrated with him the fact that he had been born, the importance of him, who he is. I told him I thought he was really important and that I knew the world had changed the day he was born, he had changed history because he is alive and I would like to celebrate the fact he is alive. Together we decided that we would celebrate him being alive on February 14th, the day of love as I hope if nothing else this morning he will remember that there is a God who planned for him to be alive and loves him.
Still reeling a bit from this we played the first game and then the electricity cut out meaning all my great multimedia work was for nothing. Ah well, we carried on and had fun. When we got home we discovered that we had no water in our tank soon followed by our electricity cutting out as well. I smiled when I checked with the neighbour if they had electricity… you live in Albania they said! I know and today I have been reminded!